Daily Prompt, Educational, Ramblings, Reflections

Ban a Word?

When I read the Daily Prompt: “If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?” A few words and phrases came to mind.

Words do have power. They can incite emotions in each of us, and lead a mob to violence. They can soothe a broken heart, and help people know they aren’t alone in the world. There are words that common sense says we shouldn’t use. We shouldn’t call people names, degrade them, put them down, etc. Just because we don’t like the word, or our current culture says the word is bad, we shouldn’t ban it’s use. We shouldn’t be allowed to scream fire in a crowded theater; unless there is a fire. We shouldn’t be allowed to libel and slander, harass, hate speech, etc., and violate laws in our speech.

Mark Twain wrote novels during a time when certain words were customary. It was part of our history for them to be used. We don’t, in general, use them anymore. But we’re banning the novels, that are part of our history, because of words. Because we don’t want to use the books to teach our children: it happened, people were called those things, they were treated like that. We are destined to repeat history if we erase history and words we aren’t comfortable with.

Another author, Roald Dahl; recently, has had books scrubbed of words that others felt uncomfortable with. They took the word “fat” and others out of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. Among other books he wrote. The child being described was fat. It was a descriptive word that he’d picked. That now, years later, is being removed because people might be sensitive to that word. I get it, I’ve been fat most of my life. I’ve been body shamed by medical professionals, teased, bullied and put down all because of my weight. That word has the power I give it. Other authors I’ve read use those same words, and other words to describe how a person looks. Will we get rid of “he had pudgy fingers” next?

When and where does it end?

Are people so threatened by a word that we have to have censors in classes? Making sure teachers, books, students don’t say certain words. Pass legislation that requires colleges to teach using only words we like? Because those other words are so threatening to those in power. Because free thought is such a threat to them and their agendas. That’s where we are headed when we start banning words.


4 thoughts on “Ban a Word?”

  1. Very well said. Excellent. Amen! When they begin banning and burning books (ideas) it’s not long before they will come for the authors of those books. The minders will tell us what to think and say. Yesterday at lunch my wife’s watch began answering a question we had at the table. The watch Siri she/it, was listening to us talk. I read George Orwell’s 1984 years ago where he described such things and thought it impossible; now I’m living in the midst of it. How long, if such right wing zealots can control what is printed, till they begin listening in and doing away with us, their ‘enemies’, all in the name of their right wing ‘rightness’! Enemies of freedom always try to kill knowledge and keep people ignorant through control of ideas. All “for the good of the people.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. I agree that it’s a short step from banning books to going after the authors. After that they go after those who read the books.

      It’s easier to spread propaganda when they control what can and can’t be said, read, or learned by people.


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